Today was the typical Mariners’ game that fans have grown to know and love… Starting pitcher pitches well, gets no run support, Mariners lose. I’m sure we’ve all heard that a few times. The final on the day was Angels 3 Mariners 0.
Jason Vargas took the mound for the Mariners tonight, and put together a solid start. He went seven innings, giving up 7 hits, 3 earned runs, striking out 7, and not giving up a walk. The biggest damage off of Vargas came off of a two run homerun by Albert Pujols (who?) in the first inning. Vargas left a changeup up in the zone, and Pujols took advantage of the mistake. It was Pujols’ fifth on the year and his 450th career homerun, making him the 4th youngest to reach that mark. He ended up going 3-4 today and this was only Pujols’ third three hit game on the year.
After the homerun though, Vargas really settled down, not giving up another run until the 6th inning. Kendrys Morales picked up an RBI base hit, bringing in Pujols and stretching the Angels lead to 3. It was a tough loss for Vargas but he has been putting together some solid starts as of late. He now has a 3.39 ERA and a 3.96 FIP on the year.
Steve Delabar relieved Vargas in the 8th and he pitched well. He pitched two perfect innings and struck out three batters. There were a few times where his breaking ball really was impressive and he got a few Angels to swing right over the top of it. Five of the eighteen strikes that he threw were swinging.
That brings me to the Mariners’ offense. Do I want to talk about the performance? No. But I will. The offense picked up only 4 hits today and went 0-6 with runners in scoring position. Alex Liddi followed up his superb offensive performance yesterday, with a golden sombrero today. He went 0-4 striking out in each plate appearance. The four hits today came off of the bats of Dustin Ackley, Ichiro, Saunders and Ryan. Ackley was the only person in the Mariners’ that did not strikeout today.
Miguel Olivo returned from the DL today, and he was the same ol’ Miguel Olivo. He went 0-3 with a strikeout and is now hitting .202/.221/.333 on the year. The Mariners currently have 3 catchers on the active roster with Montero, Olivo, and Jaso. I’m not sure how much longer we see Olivo around, especially if he continues to hit like this.
The star of the show tonight though was Dan Haren. He dazzled today putting together one of the best starts in baseball this year. He went the complete game shutout and struck out 14 batters. He gave up only four hits and did not give up a single walk. There was a stretch where Haren retired 13 straight batters until Saunders beat out an infield hit to start the 6th inning. His performance gave him a 93 on the ESPN game score calculator which is the fifth best pitching performance on the season using the ESPN game score. He really did a good job eating away at the corners and getting Mariners to chase.
This was a game where you just have to move on from and get ready for tomorrow. Blake Beavan will take the mound against Ervin Santana in game two of the series. Santana has been hot as of late after a rough April. I will actually be at the game tomorrow and let’s hope the bats show some life and that we can even up the series.